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When will they redeem lost prestige?

Rugby was one of the main sports in the upcountry, and it flourished from 1880 until 1970s, mainly due to the influence of the planters. In those good old days the Clifford Cup finals were played in Radella (Dimbula A & CC), Darawella (Dickoya MCC) and Uva Gymkhana Club (Badulla).

The three planters clubs, Dickoya, Dimbulla and Uva Gymkana Club, at one time were the top three rugby playing clubs in the country.

According to past records, rugby in the country, and those who took the game seriously from the day it was born to 1972 were the planting community. In 1908 when the Ceylon Rugby Football Union was formed, there were only six clubs-Kandy Sports Club, Dimbulla A & CC, Dickoya MCC, Uva Gymkhana Club, CH & FC and Kalutara Sports Club. During that time, only Trinity and Kingswood were in the game, and two Ceylonese teams, Kandy Rovers and Colombo Ceylonese.

The first ever club game to be played, was between two of the Upcountry teams Dickoya MCC and Dimbulla ACC, that was on 7th of September 1880, with Dickoya winning the game by 9 points to 3. This scrum down was held at the Darawella grounds.

The winning Dickoya MCC team was packed with players like Metcalfe (Capt), Courtis, Frees, Dove, Rowsell, Corrier, Graham, Haden, Messervy, Ogilvy, Parsons, Power, Wetherall, Wilton, Richardson.

Dimbulla ACC - Fayers (Capt), Palliser, Tatham, Verelsh, Wright, Boyd, Evans, Fitclarence, Gwatkinb, Hardie, Mcclintoch, Roper, Setton, Tynet, C. Eright.

Dimbulla ACC

Dimbulla ACC was formed in 1856, and their sports were rugger, cricket, squash, tennis, badminton and cue sport. They were a major force in rugby and it was their popular sport. They gave their best from the day they started playing rugby in 1880s to 1970s. Sports declined after the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Government took over the estates.

WON THE CLIFFORD CUP - In 1956 a combined Dim/Dicks team was second to CR & FC in the Clifford Cup. Then in 1959 Dimbulla shared the cup with CR & FC.

Another fine moment came in 1970 when under the leadership of ever-green Ken Murray, Dimbulla emerged as the ‘A’ Division Clifford Cup League Champions and they were deprived of the double by Abdul Majeed’s Policemen, where they lost the Clifford Cup semifinals 0-6.

Finest ruggerites - Dimbulla were not only a major force in rugby, but also produced some of the finest ruggerites in the country, players like D.R. Macare, J. Bousfield, H, Warning, Miles Chritoffelsz, Larry Schockman, S. Canagasabai, M. Parry, I. CoDonald, Mike de Alwis, S. Unamboowe, Dharmasiri Madugalle, Owen Mottau, Jayantha Jayawardene, Rohan Wijenayake, Clifford Elharth, Roger da Silva, Tommy Kelaart, P. Amrasinghe, R,. Kulatunga, Tuan Dole, Iswan Omar, Lanil Tennakoon, Brian Liversz, Brian and Cedrick Munweera, Trevo Nugawelna, Mohan Samarakoon to name a few.

Dickoya MCC

Dickoya MCC was formed in 1874, and their sporting activities were rugger, cricket, tennis, squash, badminton and cue sports. They too were once a major force in rugby. They were one of the top ‘A’ division rugby clubs. In 1972 their standard declined and they were relegated to ‘B’ division, due to the take over of the estates.

The home of Dickoya – Darawella, this ground and the club house was rated as the best in the country.

Dickoya too like Dimbulla, have produced great teams and players. Thrice they entered the Clifford Cup finals and went down fighting to CR & FC and Havelocks SC respectively in 1958 and 1961. In 1961 they lost to Dr. Hurbert Aloysius’ Havelocks, in the dying moments of the game, due to an off side. Havies got a penalty and goaled it to take the cup back to Havelock Park.

The 1961 Dickoya Cup final team was packed with whites, and the four Sri Lankan played in the cup final were T.B. Pilapitiya, Rohan Wijenayake, B.I. Gunawardene and Uvais Odayar. Some of their past players were Bary Cameron, Tony Johnson, Chris Bean, Uvais Odayar, David Bretherton, Mohan ‘Baila’ Samarasinghe, D. Bretherton, Dharmasiri Madugalle, Rohan Abeyasundara, C. Hanies, J.M.E. Warning, C.D. Gibson. Most of the planters played for all three clubs, Dimbulla, Dickoya and Uva, due to transfers from estate to estate.

Uva Gymkhana Club

Uva Gymkhana Club was founded in 1980 and played rugger, cricket, tennis, hockey and badminton and also they conducted horse racing.

In 1952 Uva Gymkhana Club entered the Clifford Cup final, and became the first club from UpCountry to enter the semis of the Clifford Cup. In that final they lost to CR & FC by 19 points to nil. Some of their top players were A.C.B. Horfall, C.D. Hearth, M.M. Clarke, J.T. Pettigrew, F. Aldons, K. Ariarajah, D. Parkar, J. Howe, R.G. Bowie, J. Boyd Moss, J. Garner, R.Gauder, S.B. Pilapitiya, A. Hamer, Lionel Almeida, Rayan Howie, Ronnie Gunaratne, Lanil Tennakoon, Sarath Soysa, Uvais Odayar, Nipa Pilimatalawa, .

 

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